20 Things You Didn’t Know About Chuck E. Cheese’s Slideshow
June 5, 2017
This famed chain is celebrating its 40th year in business
20 Things You Didn’t Know About Chuck E. Cheese’s
As a kid, an invite to a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese’s was a cause for celebration in itself. Games, pizza, and those legendary animatronic characters awaited, as well as the promise of piles of tickets and a couple fun prizes. But we bet that there’s a lot you didn’t know about this popular chain, and if you haven’t visited in a while, you’ll find that a lot has changed.
It Was Founded by the Co-Founder of Atari
The concept for Chuck E. Cheese’s was created by Nolan Bushnell, who is perhaps more famous for co-founding pioneering video game company Atari.
The Mascot Was Originally Supposed to Be a Coyote
Bushnell originally wanted to name his concept Coyote Pizza, and purchased what he thought was a coyote costume for his first animatronic. But it was pointed out that he in fact had bought a mouse costume by mistake, and the rest is history.
Chuck E. Cheese Didn't Appear in the Logo Until 1980
The company was called Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theatre for the first couple years of its life; it wasn’t until 1980 that Chuck E. was introduced as the face of the brand.
The First International Location Opened in 1986
It was in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
It Was Called Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Until 1994
Wikimedia Commons/ Try to Love Again
The word “Pizza” was dropped from the name in that year, and since then it’s just been called Chuck E. Cheese’s.
It Was Called Charlie Cheese's in Australia
When locations opened in Australia in the 1980s, they were called Charlie Cheese’s Pizza Playhouse. “Chuck” was swapped out because in Australia it’s another word for throwing up.
It Recently Broke a Guinness Record
On May 19, 2017, it set the Guinness World Record for the most people blowing party blowers simultaneously for 10 seconds.
It Goes Through 8.5 Million Pounds of Mozzarella Every Year
That’s a lot of (Chuck E.) cheese!
Some Locations Hold a Special Event for Autistic Children Every Month
On the first Sunday of every month, many locations lower the lights and sounds during a new program geared toward autistic children called Sensory Sensitive Sundays.
It Distributes 6 Million Tickets Every Year
The company has dabbled with replacing them with a personalized card, but kids love winning those stacks of tickets!
A New Limited Time Offer Menu Item Is Released Every Quarter
In the past it’s included head-turners like spaghetti and meatball pizza, but it’s currently the Triple Pepperoni Pizza.
There Are No More Ballpits
If you remember playing in those big ballpits when you were a kid, you might be surprised to learn that those were phased out back in 1994 and replaced with Sky Tubes.
All the Animatronic Characters Have Names
Chuck E. Cheese is of course the frontman, but other band members include Helen Henny (vocals), Mr. Munch (vocals, keyboards), Jasper T. Jowls (vocals, guitar), and Pasqually E. Pieplate (vocals, percussion). Crusty the Cat was rolled out with the rest of the gang in 1977 but replaced with Mr. Munch a year later.
Two Different Costumed Shows Are Performed
Along with the animatronic characters, real costumed humans also put on a few shows. The “live” show is performed on stage during birthday parties, and the “road” show takes place throughout the venue.
There Are Several Different Styles of Animatronic Show in Use
Depending on the age of the location and whether it’s been recently renovated, guests can see a few different versions of the animatronic show these days. Since 1998, for example, Chuck E. has been the only animatronic figure at new locations, with the rest of the characters on TV screens.
It Offers Gluten-Free Pizza
The company offers a gluten-free crust with customizable toppings. The national rollout of the gluten-free crust will be complete late summer or early fall.